Winter vacation in the Austrian Alps


This year is probably the best winter in terms of snow in Ramsau am Dachstein in many years. So we decided to go there again during our winter vacation to enjoy winter sports in all variations.

Winter outdoor sports for us includes backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, alpine skiing and some tobogganing. If you are into fat biking, horseback riding in snow, freeriding, or just a long walk/hike in the white landscape, Ramsau has a lot to offer, too.

You might ask, what is it with Ramsau, that makes us going there so often. Well, we’d like to give you a short impression below with some pics and routes…

Backcountry tours:

Here are some back country tours we did. The first one is an easy but very picturesque on, which you can do without a lot of experience. The other three require a bit more experience and fitness.

Towards Brandalm

This tour is an easy one, an intro to back country skiing or just a relaxing trip on a sunny day. On this tour we had with us a friend who never tried backcountry skiing before. And it worked just fine!

First you start up the rather flat alpine slope of Zauberlift in Ramsau.  After that you follow the groomed path towards Brandalm until you take off into an easy path through the woods (marked with “to Walcheralm”) and up towards Türlwandhütte (in the little canyon between Brandalm and Adlerlifte). Once you are back on the groomed path you follow it downwards to Brandalm. After a short break at the Brandalm – you should definitely stop by and have a  snak – you ski down to the start point on groomed paths and slopes.

Here the route:

Download file: Roland_Mosheim_2019-02-15_10-30-40.gpx
Crossing the Dachstein and back over Rumpler:

This is one of our favourites. On this tour we joined forces with Georg, Katharina’s brother. The tour starts by taking the gondola up to Dachstein glacier. After a short uphill you start by descending approx 1000 m in altitude – very untypical for backcountry skiing: first the descent, then the (long) climb back up …

This time we skied down through fresh powder towards Eissee and after another short uphill further down to Zirbengrube and further on back to the groomed path (“Route Dachsteinüberquerung”) which you also could use to get to Gjaid-Alm. Don’t miss out on the great home-made food and super service there!!

From there the long uphill via Rumpler and back up to Dachstein glacier gondola starts. The whole tour provides you with great vistas and beautiful landscape. But  we strongly advise you to take this trip only when the weather is nice and the view is good! Otherwise it can get really difficult to find your way. And remember that you are above 2000 meters above sea level, conditions can change fast and the air is thin …

The route:

Download file: Roland_Mosheim_2019-02-17_08-46-16.gpx
Crossing over the “Tor”:

We did this tour in summer as a hike and the other way round. This time, there were loads of snow and perfect conditions. On this tour, we had with us a friend from Norway. We took on the challenge to show him that Austria has some beautiful places to show off as well 😉

The tour starts just on the border between Styria and Salzburg, next to the former Gasthaus Dachsteinruhe. From there you follow a little forest road up towards Bachlalm. Follow the saddle up towards Sulzenhals. Before you get up to Sulzenhals you have to turn right and up towards the impressive rock face of “Tor”.

You are facing an impressive downhill – first a very steep channel down to the first plateau, then further down right from the rocks of Marstein – we were lucky to find perfect firn, which does not happen very often.

After that you follow the slopes further down through the woods and between the trees back to the car. Thanks again for the great guiding by Karl Tritscher!

Here the route:

Download file: Roland_Mosheim_2019-02-18_08-41-04.gpx
Up Gumpeneck:

Our friends Gabi and Karli invited us to join them on a tour up Gumpeneck. We have never been in that part of the Tauern on skis, besides crossing the Sölkpass by bicycle. Therefore we were thrilled to get to know a new route and a new terrain.

Unfortunately, we were met by packed snow and icy conditions on the way up. Therefore, it was a bit hard to find a grip with our old skins. Once we were “through the woods”, the area was more open and offered  beautiful vistas; and even the sun suddenly broke through the clouds.

Since Katharina and I are afraid of heights, we decided not to go all the way up to the summit, thus took off the skins approx 200 m below the top of Gumpeneck. From what we heard afterwards, the only thing we missed out was the cross on top of the summit, strong winds and even icier conditions.

The best part of the tour was the first downhill where we found great powder! On the way back to the starting point we stopped by the Schönwetterhütte, which is definitely worth stopping by – great service, great food!

Here the route:

Download file: Roland_Mosheim_2019-02-20_08-20-57.gpx

Crosscountry skiing:

This is one of our absolute favourite cross-country routes in Ramsau trough the woods. We tend to call it “Scandinavian slope” as it reminds us very much of the XC routes up here in Norway.

However, Ramsau has many more great loops with great vistas, beautiful slopes and nice little lodges to gain back some burned energy.

Here the route:

Download file: Roland_Mosheim_2019-02-24_11-46-55.gpx

We hope we could inspire you to visit this place soon … check out some more on the site of Ramsau.

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